Tomato Basil Hummus

Hummus is one of the staples of my diet. I make it every week and love finding new things to do with it. I learn something new basically every time I make a new batch; see Hummus University below for some condensed tips and let me know if you have any tips of your own to share!


This hummus is tangy but well-balanced; it’s one of those things I have a hard time not “tasting” when I’m preparing it, dishing it up, or packing it into a Tupperware for tomorrow’s lunch. Hope you love it as much as I do.


Tomato Basil Hummus

Makes about 4 cups


  • 4 medium roma tomatoes, halved
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups freshly cooked drained garbanzo beans, or 1 can, rinsed and drained. Heat them up either way.
  • 1/2 cup reserved bean broth or hot water or veg broth, or more or less as needed.
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cup densely packed fresh basil, coarsely chopped.
  • Salt and pepper to taste, natch


  1. Preheat your broiler. Line a small cookie sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil, drizzle the foil with 1/2 Tbsp olive oil,  place the tomatoes cut side up on the oiled foil, and then drizzle another 1/2 Tbsp olive oil over them. Season with salt and pepper and put in the broiler.
  2. Broil for about 10 minutes, or until the edges of the tomatoes are beginning to char a little bit; your cue to check on them is when they just begin to smell like they are burning. I like to imagine that the tomatoes’ shoulders are getting tan. Before they get scorched all over, take them out and set on the stove or a cooling rack.
  3. Meanwhile, get started on the hummus. In a food processor with the regular blade, process the garlic until finely chopped.
  4. Add the garbanzos and pulse to combine, then add the tomatoes and process. When you need more liquid, add the lemon juice.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients, one at a time: the tomato paste, vinegar, tahini, spices, basil, and remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil. Drizzle in hot water or bean broth as needed to loosen up the mixture.
  6. Purée away!
  7. Taste and correct the seasoning. 



In other words, some general tips on hummus-making:

Heat and taste: As I’ve mentioned before, starting with hot beans really does seem to make a difference in terms of making the hummus creamier. However, you need to be aware when you are tasting the warm hummus in the process of making it that you will ultimately be eating it cold, and its flavor profile will change when it cools. The vinegar flavor in particular will be much more pronounced when the hummus is still warm, so don’t freak out if that’s the only thing you taste when you’re deciding whether the hummus needs another grind or two of pepper.

Heat and texture: If you’re making the hummus with hot beans, keep in mind that it will thicken some when it cools. If your hummus is the texture you want when it’s hot, it will cool down to be so thick you can cut it with a knife, so make it a little looser than you think you will want it.

Puréeing: Just go for it. Turn the food processor on and then go do the dishes, put away the spices, pack your lunch for tomorrow, whatever. You are emphatically not at risk of damaging the hummus by puréeing it for too long.


1 Comment

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One response to “Tomato Basil Hummus

  1. SusanM

    Thanks for the tips from Hummus U. I’ve never made hummus using warmed beans. I’m planning to make the tomato basil hummus this weekend. It sounds great and a nice change from the usual.

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